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Ron Paul’s Stunning Antiwar Performance – OpEd

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By Philip Weiss

I see that Reuters is characterizing Ron Paul’s anti-war outcry in the Republican debate as an outburst and is saying that his views could alienate Republicans. Well I found his performance riveting. It was a great moral stand and establishes Ron Paul as the Gene McCarthy of this battle, the antiwar outlier.

Who else is condemning the use of drones? Who else is condemning the Patriot Act? Who else is talking about our endless wars? Who else is condemning the runup to an Iran war? Who else is saying that terrorists attack us because we’re bombing their countries?

Below I have typed up his dramatic statements against “endless war” and the ramping up of war against Iran being just like what happened with that useless war against Iraq, which killed 1 million Iraqis. No I can’t stand his position on global warming, that could be a dealbreaker for me. And his libertarian economic ideas, at a time when the income disparity is so huge, but this was a great performance. Again, who else says this stuff? Who contests the belief that Iran has a bomb? Who stands up for Muslims around the world? Who understands Iran’s desire to counter the saber-rattling? Who says that Israel has 300 nukes?

Paul’s stance is especially intriguing given the mainstream’s dismissal of him: Chris Matthews’s statement on his show last night dismissing Ron Paul as an “isolationist.” Matthews also fulminated against that “damned war,” Iraq, but said Iran was a horse of a different color: not a regional threat, but a global threat. So Matthews, whom I regard as a liberal eastcoast establishment partisan, is drinking Democratic Party/lobby Koolaid on the Iran threat. Fascinating.

Here are my notes from Paul’s stellar answers on foreign policy:

Fox Moderator: What about if you had solid intelligence that Iran was about to get a nuclear weapon, but you say you’d remove the sanctions on Iran. Aren’t you running left of President Obama on this?

“But I’d be running with the American people because it would be a much better policy… For you to say there’s some scientific evidence, and maybe in a year they might have a weapon, there’s a lot more evidence that they don’t have it. There’s no U.N. evidence of that happening. … There is no difference from 2003. You know what I really fear about this. It’s another Iraq coming, it’s war propaganda coming on… To me the greatest danger is that we will have a president who will over react, and we will soon bomb Iran.

“It would make more sense, if we lived through the Cold War, which we did, with 30,000 missiles pointed at us, we ought to really sit back and look and think and not jump the gun and think we’re going to be attacked. That’s how we got into that useless war in Iraq and lost so much in Iraq.”

Questioner persists. You’re running left of Obama.

“Yes. All we’re doing is promoting their desire to have it. Ehud Barak the defense minister for Israel said that if he were in Iran he would probably want a nuclear weapon too. Because they’re surrounded– for geopolitical desires. So that’s an udnerstanding…

“How do we treat people with a nuclear weapon? With a lot more respect. What did we do with Libya? We talked with them, we talked them out of their nuclear weapon, and then we killed him…. Nuclear weapons are loaded over there. Pakistan, India, Israel has 300 of them. We have our ships over there. We have to keep this in the proper context. We don’t need another war!”

What about Iran’s threat to close the Straits of Hormuz?

Paul, bridling: “The plans are on the book, all they talk about is when are we, the west, going to bomb Iran? They don’t have a nuclear weapon– why wouldn’t they try to send out some information, you know if you come and bomb us, we might shut the straits of Hormuz down. So the president already is wisely stepping back on the sanctions, because it’s going to be an economic calamity if you take all the oil out of Europe….

“We have 12,000 diplomats. We ought to use a little bit of diplomacy once in a while.”

Ron Paul is then baited by Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum. She says Iran is the equivalent of al qaeda and wants to spread jihad across the world. “I have never heard a more dangerous answer for American security than the one I just heard from Ron Paul. We know without a shadow of the doubt that Iran will … use it to wipe our ally Israel off the face fo the map and they will use it against the United States of America…”

Paul: “Obviously I would like to see a lot less nuclear weapons. I don’t want Iran to have a nuclear weapon. I would like to reduce them, because there would be less chance of war. But to declare war on 1.2 billion Muslims and say all Muslims are the same? This is dangerous talk. Yeah there are some radicals. They don’t come here to kill us because we’re free and prosperous… They come here and they explicitly explain it to us. The CIA has explained this to us. They come here and want to do us harm because we’re bombing them…

“Why were we flying a drone over Iran? Why do we have to bomb so many countries? Why do we have 900 bases in 1130 countries and we’re totally bankrupt. How are we going to take care of the people? I think this wild goal is to have another war in the name of defense is the dangerous thing. The danger is really us overreacting. and we need a strong national defense and only go to war when there’s a declaration of war… [instead of] starting these wars so often….”

Bachmann again speaks of an avowed madman wanting to wipe Israel out.

Paul: “There is no UN report that said that. It’s totally wrong on what you just said. That is not true. They produced information that led you to believe that.  But they have no evidence. There has been no enrichment.”

Bachmann: “If we agree with that, the United States people could be at risk–”

Paul: “If she thinks we live in a dangerous world, she ought to think back to when I was drafted in 1962 with the nuclear missiles in Cuba. And Kennedy calls Khrushchev and talks to him and talks him out of a nuclear excahnge. You’re trying to dramatize this… we have to treat Iran like we’ve treated Iraq and kill a million Iraqis and 8000 some Americans have died since we’ve gone to war.

“You cannot solve these problems with war… Get them over with, instead of this endless fighting and this endless attitude that we have enemies all around the world…”

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

Mondoweiss

Mondoweiss

Mondoweiss is a news website devoted to covering American foreign policy in the Middle East, chiefly from a progressive Jewish perspective. Mondoweiss is maintained by Philip Weiss and Adam Horowitz. Weiss lives in New York state and Horowitz lives in New York City.

31 thoughts on “Ron Paul’s Stunning Antiwar Performance – OpEd

  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 6:01 am
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    I was impressed that he stood his ground on the anti-war message. I assumed he would try and tone it down during this debate.

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    December 18, 2011 at 6:08 am
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    Sometimes its better to prioritize the problems. I like to try tackling the most pressing first. America is hemorrhaging, time to triage. No one is going to be perfect.

    What I am trying to say, with peace the other problems become more solvable…

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 6:22 am
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    Ron Paul listens to our troops. He has served this country. He is criticized for not jumping into Israel’s war with the rest of the Middle East. Bachman would risk the chance of blowback. She would send our troops to face more hell. She seems to think that we ban bomb these people into loving us. I am sure that if Iran tried to pull off an unprovoked attack on the US President Ron Paul would turn their country into a hole into the earth’s core. He would do it without risking the lives of our troops.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 6:40 am
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    This seems to be the only politician, who not only knows the reality, but also express it. my vote is for him.

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  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 6:44 am
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    Thank you, Philip Weiss, for illuminating a vital part of Ron Paul’s platform, the part neoconservatives think is so dangerous and abysmally naive. Anti-war Democrats are looking more and more at Paul as their only conscientious choice for president.

    Reply
    • Avatar
      December 19, 2011 at 2:59 am
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      I used to be a republican, but switched to independent affiliation in part because of the neo-con pro-war stance. I wanted to vote for Ron Paul in the republican primary. Unfortunately, my state has a very early deadline to make this happen, and I missed it.

      I encourage all independents, democrats and others, who would like there to be a substantial discussion of non-war options in the general election run up, to research the requirements to vote in their state republican primary. Regardless of who you vote for in November, having Ron Paul as the republican candidate will shift the discussion dramatically towards a more ethical foreign policy.

      Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 6:48 am
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    Finally hearing the good about this debate. You’re right when you say that they’re already calling it a stumble, a hurdle. I think it will be hard for him to get past his foreign policy within the GOP, but gosh I love it. I’m pretty young, and we’ve been at war so long that all I see is a left and right that both want the status quo. The US may be financial superpower, but the fear that being friendly and less militarily overpowering will somehow hurt us? silly at best. What these other people fear is a time where the US isn’t the world dominator. All of the people in office have seen a lifetime of America in charge of the world. It’s a refresher to hear reason and not more political blabber.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 7:35 am
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    Sir, if you studied Austrian Economics you would understand the reason for the current income disparity. The current monetary policy is causing a great wealth transfer from the middle class to the wealthy and politically connected. If you wish to get a great primer, Peter Schiff’s, “How an Economy Grows and why it Crashes”, is a must read.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 7:59 am
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    Nice article. I, too, thought those to be some of Ron Paul’s best moments of the debate. He called out Bachman on the lies and propaganda.
    He was rightgeous and fierce ! Eloquent.
    I loved it !

    The Tea Party 11 Ron Paul Money Bomb is going on right now. http://www.ronpaul2012.com

    RON PAUL 2012

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 11:35 am
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    Heroic. ; ) I recognized it too at the time. A true statesman. Standing up for what he believes while surrounded by power crazed lunatics, all while knowing the political consequences… hard not to be enamored with him. Moral principle and integrity go a long way with me and also in inspiring men.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 12:09 pm
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    peace has a chance. liberty will do die.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 12:14 pm
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    Thankyou, it is refreshing to see more truth of ron rather than the neocon zionist lies of late . there is an agenda as to why ron wont win and it is becoming harder and harder for the media to cover there movements as such, they all want war but ron, and they all want to keep sending billions in aid to israel for no purpose but to satisfy there masters heel . ron paul 2012 , only non interventionist, pro american, classic conservative left :)

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 12:50 pm
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    RON PAUL IS AWESOME

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 2:06 pm
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    Ron Paul,Looks you are the only wise american.You ought to lead the American protesters and help them to victory,THE TRUTH,before this one pct take you all 325Milion down the tube

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 2:52 pm
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    I think Dr.Paul is the only with any common sense.Why can’t these neocons realise we are on the verge of an economic collapse with these military interventionist policies?

    Reply
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    December 18, 2011 at 2:55 pm
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    Thank you for printing the actual words spoken. Ron Paul is not the most effective deliverer of the message in person. He is just not smooth. But I think the message is just such a RELIEF to be out there for thought and discussion. We needed this after 9/11. I’m not sure it is realistic? Maybe it isn’t crazy to talk it out, though?

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm
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    Nice article.

    I’m in full agreement with Ron Paul on foreign policy.

    With regards to global warming, I would like to point out that there are many thousands of Scientists who refute global warming. It’s not as clear cut as the UN would have you believe. You have to look at all the evidence. I would suggest looking at the climategate emails from a few years back. And also notice that the “experts” do not use the Sun in their data models for climate change.

    Lastly, but not least, look at all the carbon tax system that the UN have been promoting. It is nothing more than a money making tool for the elite. And the companies trading carbon credits are making billions from it.

    Reply
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      December 19, 2011 at 8:52 pm
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      I’m glad you’re pointing that fact out, LJ… The global warming scam is just another way to keep the money coming to the elite… I wish more people would wake up and realize that global warming is another stinking scam…

      Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm
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    Excellent article,Philip. You help restore faith there are at least a few in the media with the courage of their convictions.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 3:31 pm
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    Ron Paul’s fearless antiwar comments sound just too good to be true. How many years we have waited for a serious politician to say these things! I wrote to President Bush (senior) in 1991 when he was president asking why we have to keep so many troops in Japan, but never got an answer. There IS NO ANSWER. It is costing us dearly, and our ally countries are big enough to act like grown-ups now. Why can’t we share in the task of policing? Why can’t we return to the Monroe Doctrine? Global businesses do matrix management, and there are so many international alliance agreements. It just does not make sense bankrupting a powerful democratic country while less democratic countries quietly grow their economies and place themselves in gradually more powerful positions than ours.

    Reply
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    December 18, 2011 at 3:53 pm
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    we need RP’s economic policies precisely for the income inequality. if not for perpetual bank bailouts, bankers would be unemployed instead of rich. if not for bank-run federal reserve policy and fiat money, capital would go to serve the people instead of being directed at the whim of bankers. the nation, as is, is designed to stream all of our money towards wall street and washington dc (which is where all the rich folk live).

    “give me control of a nations money supply… and I don’t care who makes the laws”

    -rothschild (quotation is approximate, not precise)

    Reply
    • Avatar
      December 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm
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      “The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching (plan), nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each [country] and the economy of the world as well.”
      Carroll Quigley, Tragedy & Hope, A history of the world in out time, 1966

      Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm
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    What I like about Ron Paul is that he is fighting for me…the responsible hard working tax payer that wants the theft to stop. This whole system where we steal from those that work (in the form of income tax) and give it to those that lobby govt to which they give a portion of that money goes back to prop up candidates that keep the circle of money flowing from you to them…THIS HAS TO STOP!

    That is why I am giving what money I do have left after has been taxed over to Ron Paul’s campaign because at least there is a hope that my future earnings will stay with me instead of going to some “too big to fail” Executive who gets awarded for bankrupting his company.

    Vote Ron Paul 2012 and 2016!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 5:07 pm
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    So the Trotskites neocon and neolib are trying to force this on the American people.

    Someone (Iran) might do something we don’t like in the future (build a nuke). Even though they have no infrastructure (can’t make their own gas) and have never attacked anyone and have signed the non-proliferation treaty. We need to openly attack them and break them to protect ourselves. Even though we spend 45% of the worlds military spending. Are the most powerful nation on earth.

    The rest of the world should be quaking in their boots at America.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 5:38 pm
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    http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/316304

    watch the video above you don’t need to listen to anything else. you don’t need to argue w/ neocons and their anti-american pro-empire agenda.

    you don’t need to live in fear. just watch that video from the veterans for ron paul. understand blowback. understand our debt and bankruptcy. understand the erosion of your freedoms…and just fight it. fight these people that push these wars but aren’t fighting themselves. fight the fear.

    There is no argument for war. Unless attacked by a COUNTRY or in danger of losing our country. – Neither of which are going to ever happen because we spend like 70% of the military budget of the entire world!! – there is no reason to go to war. It truly is a racket for the wealthy.

    “War is always the same. It is young men dying in the fullness of their promise. It is trying to kill a man that you do not even know well enough to hate. Therefore, to know war is to know that there is still madness in the world.” – LBJ.

    Reply
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    December 18, 2011 at 5:41 pm
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    isnt it funny that Paul is treated as the quack and everyone else mainstream. It says something about the American people. I have spoken to many people who endorse this way of thinking. We are brainwashed by the Zionist media to a pulp. They want war and it’s really all about money and oil. Michelle Bachmann wants to bomb Iran and Ron Paul’s policy is dangerous? Is that an oxymoron? Or is she just a moron? Absolute power, corrupts absolutely.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 6:13 pm
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    Ron Paul is our only candidate that is pro-peace, pro-freedom and pro-Constitution. I am a military veteran and Ron Paul gets more contributions from the military than all other candidates combined. The military is sick of unjust wars that are immoral and bankrupting our country. The other candidates are “Chicken-Hawks”; to afraid to serve in the military but aggressive to have wars (which of course risk no injury to themselves or their neocon friends).

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 18, 2011 at 11:25 pm
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    I loved the article!I happen to agree with nearly everything Ron Paul says (including global warming) but that is the great thing about RP, he emphasizes freedom and the right we all have to believe differently. Thanks for writing this!

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 19, 2011 at 10:40 am
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    About time the good articles come out. Get this out to all your friends who still have a brain and can actually turn the TV Off..

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 19, 2011 at 10:46 am
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    What the hell was Ron thinking? Doesn’t he know that speaking the truth and standing up for his convictions on controversial issues like this is unadulterated political suicide?

    Maybe this is why the American people just shelled out over 4 million of their hard earned dollars this weekend in donations to Ron Paul. Certainly it’s a statement in of itself, or at least the admission fee for the greatest entertainment value in history.

    Should we leave it up to the mainstream media and the Bachman’s of the world to determine if we are freedom fighters or terrorist? I say let the primaries soon do the taking in which Michele can once again hear a more dangerous answer than the one she just heard from Ron Paul.

    Ron Paul 2012.

    Reply
  • Avatar
    December 19, 2011 at 7:22 pm
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    “The powers of financial capitalism had a far-reaching (plan), nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each [country] and the economy of the world as well.”
    Carroll Quigley in Tragedy & Hope, A history of the world in our time, 1966

    Iraq, North Korea, Libya, and Iran just weren’t/aren’t going along with that program. That’s why they’re the “Axis of Evil” and have to be destroyed.

    Reply

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